Treasury chief: I believe PM will accept Sheshinski recommendations

Haim Shani spoke at a Dun and Bradstreet Israel conference.

Several top business leaders and senior Ministry of Finance officials met at the offices of Dun and Bradstreet Israel today to discuss the economic situation. Ministry of Finance director general Haim Shani was asked about the foreign currency market, the strong shekel, and intervention by the Ministry of Finance, if any, in the economy.

Shani said, "We've had a positive balance of payments since 2003, thanks to very successful Israeli exports. As for Ministry of Finance measures on this matter, I dont want to talk about it, because we'll act if we have to, and if there's no need, there's nothing to talk about. We understand the importance of the matter."

In response to a question about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision on the Sheshinski committee recommendations, Shani said, "You'll have to ask the prime minister, but I can tell you that the committee did thorough work, and I assume that the prime minister will accept its recommendations, if not all of them - I dont know."

As for financing for the Tamar natural gas project, Shani said, "I assume that there will be no delays in developing the project or financing it."

In response to question about the gas and energy industry and the Sheshinski committee recommendations, Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) CEO Asaf Bartfield said, "Everyone tells us that we'll make lower profits, That's not so terrible, but what about all the other wells? I dont see big investors or large foreign energy companies coming to Israel.

"It's true that we found a large discovery, but on the condition that we're allowed to work. The state shouldnt have done anything, just let us work. Now Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO) wants to buy gas from Egypt, that's a loss to all of us! It's easier to sell to the domestic market, and it's wrong to tell them to go to Egypt, and that depends on the government."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on January 17, 2011

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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